Sunday, September 18, 2011

California Screamin’

California Screamin’
Photo of California Screamin'
Start screaming as your tear through the air on this totally tubular thrill ride! It might look like a turn-of-the-century coaster, but this state-of-the-art steel superstructure is ready to rock you in the 21st century.

The Launch

Buckle up in a coaster car with up to 3 other passengers and enjoy an easy jaunt to the launch site. It's the last quiet moment you have before you hear:

"Launch in five, four, three, two, ONE!"

The Ride

Blast up the steep incline to an altitude of almost 120 feet, then take the plunge downward! Catapult past the waves splashing against the rock jetty of Paradise Bay before you swoop, swirl, dip and curl. Shoot into the sky blue "scream tube" and then twist and turn until you reach a brief lull at the peak. Catch your breath for half a second before diving into the loop-de-loop that winds 360 degrees around the blazing sunburst...

Do you dare ride the longest and fastest roller coaster at the Disneyland Resort?

The Construction

Reminiscent of the coasters built before the 1930s, California Screamin' rips around Paradise Pier on steel tracks that cover a distance of almost 1-1/8 miles. Thousands of steel towers, struts and beams comprise the gleaming white structure that coils around other attractions on the Pier.

The above is from the description of California Screamin’. I could not say it better than that.

California Screamin’ rollercoaster is a thrill ride in the Paradise Pier area of Disney California Adventure. This area is designed to look like the California Pier Parks that were popular back in 1930-1960. Many of those old pier parks are gone. The ones that remain are California Gold and a true treasure.

       These pier parks would pack lots of carnival type game booths, food stands and carts along with a few rides into a fairly small area. They were an area where families could go play or young couples could find a ride to give them an excuse to cuddle up. Most of these also had a rollercoaster and a large Ferris wheel.

       California Screamin’ is unusual for Disney as it is basically an unthemed ride. The area and the line are themed but there is no story told on the ride as there is on most Disney attractions. This is not unheard of in Disney Parks as Space Mountain is also basically an unthemed ride. Like Space Mountain California Screamin’ has music that is played through the ride.

       When the ride first opened and until the recent changes/additions to Disney California Adventure Park in 2010 you would take a loop through/around Mickey’s face. At night lights would “chase” the train around the face as the train made the loop. That face was removed and a sun placed there. The sun gives a better place for projecting video during the World of Color Show. Lights and video on the Screamin’ are part of the show.
File:California Screamin' Launch.JPG
       When the ride first opened the safety spiel did not include a countdown to launch. It was exciting but people would sit waiting for the ride to start looking around. When the ride starts if your head is not fully back against the seat it soon will be with a slap! They added the countdown later so people would know to have their heads back so they did not get hurt.

Ride layout and experience

The ride begins after a train is dispatched from either of two loading zones which merge at a track switch. After the switch, the track banks left and stops on a flat section of track just above water level on Paradise Bay. After a short wait dictated by the location of the previous train on the track, a Victorian Carnival character voiced by Neil Patrick Harris can be heard counting down from five before the train launches up the coaster's first hill. The train drops below another section of track and banks to the right traveling through the ride's first brake run. This is followed by another 180 degree right turn and sudden descent followed by a banked turn to the left. Momentum at this point carries the train up the coaster's largest lift hill before LIM's take over to carry the trains the remaining distance to the crest. At 120 feet (37 m), this is the highest point of the coaster from which the track drops steeply and curves left, followed by a quick incline to the right and another 180 degree turn. In preparation for the ride's single loop, the train travels through a set of brakes added in 2005. The track drops slightly and maneuvers through the loop rising and then dropping again. A wide U-turn to the right leads into a small climb and another brake run. Here a straight section of track along the front of the coaster's length contains a series of dips and rises known as "bunny hops" or "bunny hills" which create significant air time for riders. Another brake zone sends the train down and to the left past the off ride camera which is positioned in a helix. After the helix, the roller coaster ends with a series of brake runs intended to hold trains in case of a backup at the station. Back at the station, the train is either sent left or right to one of the platforms.

California Screamin' uses side-mounted friction brakes on all its brake runs rather than mounting the brakes on the track. In addition to this, stray LIM boosters are placed in the station, and near most brake zones; these include the launch hill (Zone 2), the lift hill (Zone 4), after the loop (Zone 5), before the bunny hops (Zone 6), and before the switch track back to the stations (Zone 9).

In 2005 California Screamin' received two sets of magnetic brakes to slow the train down before the loop and in brake run 6. The result is a slightly slower ride.

The 12 block brake sections in the attraction are as follows: Immediately after leaving the station, the train is in section 1, followed by section 2.1, the location that the train stops at for launch. The launch hill is section 2.2, followed immediately by section 3. Section 4 is the lift hill, ending at the top of the lift. Section 5 includes the loop up until the entrance to the next blue tunnel. Section 6 continues until the bunny hops, with section 7 ending just before the final spiral. Section 8 is the initial slow down point, followed by section 9. The main side of the station (or if you are entering the station on the train, the left side is section 10A, while the spur side of the station is Zone 10B.


On July 29, 2005, 25 guests were injured when the Purple train rear-ended the Red train. Of the 48 guests aboard the two trains, 15 were taken to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. The accident occurred on the section of track about 30 feet (9.1 m) short of the loading station. A full ride stop was activated, with the red train stopped, the brake segment that was supposed to have stopped the purple train failed, and the purple train continued until it collided with the stopped red train. An investigation showed that a faulty brake valve, installed a few days earlier by Disney (not by the ride manufacturer Intamin AG), was the cause.

On July 22, 2011, 23 people were rescued from California Screamin' by firefighters when a person's backpack fell out of one of the trains and landed on the track, causing the orange train to valley just after the loop but before the next block brake. It re-opened two days later after the train was winched up the next hill, had its damaged wheels replaced and allowed to complete the circuit.

Rockin' California Screamin'

On January 3, 2007, the standard onboard audio track for California Screamin' was temporarily replaced with a remixed version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Around the World”.and the attraction was renamed Rockin' California Screamin'. This was promoted alongside Rockin' Space Mountain, a similar change made to Space Mountain in Disneyland though that ride's audio was changed to the Red Hot Chili Peppers cover version of "Higher Ground". These changes were part of the "Rockin' Both Parks" campaign. The standard audio track was restored when the campaign ended.

Attraction facts

·         Restraint System: Over-the-Shoulder Restraints (OTSRs)

·         Vehicles: 7 vehicles total: 5 - 24 person trains (Red 01, Yellow 02, Orange 03, Blue 04, and Purple 05)/2 - 23 Person trains (Both Green, 06 and 07)

·         Max trains on track: 6

·         Length: 6,072 feet (1,851 m)

·         Linear Induction Motors Launch length: 215 feet (66 m)

·         Largest hill/drop: 120 feet/108 feet (36.5 m/33 m)

·         Inversions: 1

·         Brake Zones: 12

·         Top speed: 55 mph (89 km/h)

·         Ride duration: 2:34

·         Max acceleration: 0 - 55 mph (89 km/h) in 4 seconds

·         Totalling 6,702 feet (2,043 m) of total track, California Screamin' is the second longest steel roller coaster on the American continents.

·         Contains over 36 miles (58 km) of electrical wire, and 167 miles (269 km) of individual conductors.

·         California Screamin is also the only Disney outdoor looping rollercoaster in North America (Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster inverts three times, but is enclosed).

·         It took 5,800,000 pounds (2,630,000 kg) of steel to build California Screamin'.

·         There are 11,500,000 pounds (5,200,000 kg) of concrete in the foundations and the "deepest" foundation is a deep pile of 48 feet (15 m).

·         Because Disney California Adventure is located within a residential zone and must adhere to certain noise restriction guidelines, special "scream" tubes were designed for California Screamin' to prevent all the hollering from being blasted across Anaheim during those thrill portions of the ride that are sure to elicit such a reaction.

·         The ride's name is an obvious nod to the 1965 song "California Dreamin’" by The Mamas & the Papas.

·         Neil Patrick Harris provides the vocals for a safety spiel added in late 2010, replacing the original safety spiels recorded by Dee Bradley Baker.

·         The are 108 Acoustic devices to play the "Synchronized On-Board Audio Track" (S.O.B.A.T.) onboard each train, including High Rangers in the riders head rest, Mid Rangers near their ears, and Sub-woofers underneath each rider's seat.

This is one of my favorite rides at DCA. The anticapation is built for this ride just by walking through the area as you walk under the ride.
thanks to the following sites for good information


  1. Awesome info! Can't wait to go to DLR one of these days. I love roller coasters!

  2. The blog contains informational and educational material. The post enhance my thoughts and experience. So nice!
    I've got to scramble to keep up with your prodigious output!


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